It’s Still All About Jesus
I remember a poster from my youth: We are Easter people – and “Alleluia!” is our song! Easter certainly changes everything for us. The Resurrection of Jesus means forgiveness is accomplished and we too will rise from the dead. A Risen Savior is the heart and center of our faith. Every day of our life, we are Easter people because of Jesus.
Recently I watched a Facebook video from Rev. Andrew Cave about the importance of always living “Advent faith.” Advent faith is not just about getting ready for Christmas. Advent faith is about constantly waiting and hoping for the 2nd Coming of Jesus, His glorious coming at the end of this world.
It is an interesting tension – living as Easter people and as Advent people. We daily celebrate what we have already been given by our Risen Lord: complete forgiveness, new life now in the family of God, and the promise of eternity with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and all who believe in Jesus as Savior. But we still live in a broken world. We still struggle against the sinful pressures around us and the sinful desires within us. We still deal with ill health and strained relationships and all kinds of grief. That is where we are as Advent people – constantly looking ahead, eager for our Lord to come to set us free from all that troubles us.
Through 36 years as a pastor, I have often heard people express varying degrees of displeasure about some of our Advent hymns. For one thing, most of the world is singing or listening to Christmas songs & hymns, from the day after Thanksgiving – and now even before Halloween. (I have to admit, I too enjoy the channels that are already showing Christmas movies!) Some of our Advent hymns are written in somber tones, in a minor key. But I find those haunting, somber melodies tugging at my heart. They hit where I live every
St. Paul's Lutheran Church
day. They recognize that this world is not what God intended it to be. They recognize that I am a sinner in need of constant cleansing and reforming. They realize that although God’s gift of salvation belongs to us already, we don’t yet experience its fullness. These hymns look ahead, longingly, to the day when Jesus comes and we will fully experience all His love and glory. We ARE Easter people – and ALLELUIA is our song! But we are also ADVENT people – and “Come, Lord Jesus” is our song!
God bless your Advent as your prepare to celebrate Jesus’ first coming in the flesh at Bethlehem, and as you prepare to meet Him face to face!